Pauline Latham is delighted with the Government’s announcement that they will be introducing a deposit return scheme for single use bottles, subject to consultation later this year. Pauline has been campaigning on this issue for some time.
The scheme is expected to cover single-use glass and plastic bottles, and steel and aluminium cans. It is designed to increase recycling rates and slash the amount of waste polluting our land and seas. The logistics of the scheme are still to be set out but such schemes usually operate through a reverse vending machine, where you insert your plastic or glass bottle or can, and the machine returns your money or if linked to a supermarket often a voucher to spend there. Once a bottle is returned, businesses are then responsible for ensuring they are effectively recycled.
Consumers will pay an up-front deposit when they buy a drink which is redeemed on return of the empty drink container. The exact amount will be decided following the consultation. Although, the deposit will increase prices, consumers will get the money back when they return the container. Similar schemes already operate successfully in countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Germany. In Germany there is a 97% recycling rate.
In the UK we use 13 billion plastic drinks bottles a year. More than three billion are incinerated, sent to landfill or left to pollute our streets, countryside and marine environment. Drink containers make up at least a fifth of rubbish on beaches.
Pauline said: “I am delighted by the Government’s announcement in relation to a new deposit return scheme.
Plastics are a blight to our natural environment and lead to the unnecessary deaths of many animals. In the recent Blue Planet Documentary we saw the devastating effect which they have had on our marine environment – choking turtles, killing dolphins and ruining ocean habitats. There are 150 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans and in the Pacific there is 1,600,00 square miles of plastics killing marine wildlife.
It is great to see that the Government are really taking the environment seriously. This is a latest in a series of policies which will work to improve and enhance our environment. This includes banning microbeads and the 5p plastic bag tax.
I would implore them to go further and be even more ambitious, in order to ensure that we protect our environment for future generations!”